Griffith University is the first major Australian university in the state of Queensland to announce a mandatory vaccination or testing policy for all staff and students.
“Our priority is to keep everyone at our university safe and we know that vaccination is the best way to do that,” the spokesperson said in a statement to The Epoch Times.
“We understand that some people may not feel that vaccination is right for them so we will ask them to undertake a regime of COVID testing that will ensure every one is as safe as possible.”
According to the policy, announced on Dec. 8, all students and staff are required to be fully vaccinated by Feb. 18, 2022, while those who choose not to get jabbed can take regular rapid antigen tests at their own expense.
However, this may mean that students who fail to meet the requirements may not be able to finish their degrees.
The university has consulted with its staff and students, with the majority supporting the mandate, the spokesperson said.
“We will continue to keep them informed as we work through the implementation of this policy and look forward to 2022 being as safe as it can possibly be on our campuses.”
Prof. Sandra Harding, vice-chancellor of James Cook University and chair of Queensland Vice-Chancellor’s Committee, said the sector would support the health directive on vaccine requirements from the Queensland government, which has issued a mandate for public and private schools and early childhood centres, but not universities.
The Queensland University of Technology plans to ban unvaccinated students and staff from attending graduations and selected campus venues under the state’s vaccine rules.
The University of Southern Queensland is also currently consulting staff and students about the issue, while Bond University is “monitoring the situation carefully,” according to Courier-Mail.
In the state of Victoria, Melbourne University, Monash University, and La Trobe University have already decided to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations with a December deadline.
In New South Wales (NSW), the most populous Australian state, the University of Sydney, University of NSW, and the University of Technology have all decided to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for students who want to return to campus, in line with the state’s public health order.